The agreement addresses a key recommendation delivered to Austin leaders by an American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Peer Review team in early 2013. The Peer Review process is well-established as a valuable resource to the public transit industry, where highly experienced and respected transit and subject matter professionals provide their time and support to address the scope required.
“We’ve reached yet another milestone in the emerging central Texas transit system, and I’m pleased with the progress our teams are making together toward the goal of connecting Austin’s fast-growing activity centers with multiple transportation options, including rail,” said Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell.
“Addressing mobility now and for our future is one of the City’s highest priorities,” said Austin City Manager Marc Ott.
The Project Connect partnership was undertaken to implement the high-capacity transit plan adopted by the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) in 2010.
The three regional transportation partners are currently operating or pursuing potential development investments in the following passenger rail infrastructure within the central Texas regional high-capacity transit vision:
• Capital Metro operates the MetroRail Red Line, providing commuter rail service from Leander to downtown Austin; it has proposed future commuter service from Elgin to downtown Austin and is currently evaluating options for high capacity transit service through its Project Connect North Corridor study;
• The city of Austin is currently studying the potential design and feasibility of an initial Urban Rail line in Downtown Austin that would link the Capital Metro and Lone Star Rail District rail services to form a single regional rail system that could also ultimately provide service between Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, the Texas State Capitol Complex, the University of Texas, the Mueller Redevelopment and other destinations in Austin.
• The Lone Star Rail District is conducting environmental studies and working with the Union Pacific Railroad to establish the regional LSTAR passenger rail line, with potential stations in Georgetown, Round Rock, Austin (including downtown Austin), Buda, Kyle, San Marcos, New Braunfels, Schertz and San Antonio.